Sunday, 25 November 2012

A cold morning on the River

A delayed report this one. It took a while to get the fish in a feeding mood because of the overnight frost. I started off on 2lb line straight through, but ended up scaling down to a size 20 to 1.5lb bottom to buy a bite. After taking a dozen or so dace, I hit into a mystery fish which I couldn't budge. Unfortunately the hook pulled.

After taking a few more fish again I hooked into another one but it didn't feel quite as big. After a good tussle on light gear, I had this nice perch. For some reason I rarely catch perch so I was happy with the fish. Not much else to report, apart from the dace. As always, an enjoyable morning though...


PS, Notice the new Abu 706 which i'll do a post on sometime, suffice to say i love it

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Fishing for the ladies

I've had a couple of sessions for grayling recently, with relative success. The first was on the river, grayling were obliging on the stick float...


The second trip was on another local river

Got there as dawn was breaking, there had been quite a hard frost after walking through a bit of a jungle, got to my first swim.

Centre pin came out, 4aa avon float, 3.2lb drennan float fish to a size 18 kamasan B911 and maggots, and the trusted drennan floatmaster (i'm no floatmaster so i need a rod that will help me!). Took me a short while to get used to it, but shortly after i was doing a nice flick out of the float and getting it 3 rod lengths out or so. By letting it come round and into the deep pool, i was hoping for a chub and it didnt take long to get an unmissable take. Loved playing the fish on the pin, definitely adictive, but it turned out to be a trout of 1lb or so which was quickly released.

I tried for a while longer, but with no success so i up shot and changed venue..

The flow was more steady here, so i decided to fish a drennan big stick with the old abu 506, same rod, and 2.6lb drennan float fish, size 18 kamasan B911 and maggot. By feeding constantly, i quickly hit into a shoal of grayling. By holding back the float, bites came just as it was let to trot again, and they were great fun on light gear in the flow, really hard to get them upstream. I had 6 or 7 overall and lost a couple (including a really big one which i think was 1.5lb+), the biggest was 1lb 3oz which is a new pb for me, but they all averaged a good 12oz. Also had a small trout which was quickly realeased. Loved fishing here, first time i've been and i'll definitely be going back.

The biggest

Overall, an enjoyable morning and though i had to scale down because of the temps, it was great fun.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Big river dace

I went for an enjoyable day trotting a float down a nice glide of the river today. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day, not something i've done for a while (i've been preoccupied with pike!). I was using a Drennan floatmaster, the perfect tool for trotting double maggot to a size 16 kamasan. Steady feeding soon brought the dace on the feed, and one or two of these were clonkers, including this one of 8oz.

Occassionally, i would hit into a grayling, and i ended up catching 3 on the day up to 12oz, and bumped off another 2 more.
Overall, a good day, if a bit cold.!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

A pb pike of 24lb 15oz - stunning river fish!

I've been exploring more of the river this autumn, marking up OS maps for stretches i can fish etc. After chatting with a mate last night, i decided on a stretch that i'd not fished before for this morning. The initial aim was to do some trotting for anything that came along, but i was also going to try this new stretch for pike as well. Although pacey, i was reliably informed that there were some deeper holes that may hold a pike or two.

I got there and the river was near normal level but very coloured still, shame. After flogging away at the float for two hours or so, all i'd caught was a dace, so i changed my plan of attack. In came the float rod, and I set a pike rod up cast to an undercut bank. First bait was float fished Pollan, a bait i've not tried much. After 5 mins or so, the float moved to one side, bobbed and then dissapeared. I hit into it, and realised it was nothing special....a 3 1/2lb chub that had spent a while chewing the head of the pollan before getting hooked (not the first time this has happened to me!).

Next cast to the same place i put out a small smelt, my favourite bait. After 30 mins or so, the float bobbed, and disappeared again. This time, my strike was met by absolutely solid resistance. You know the difference straight away between a jack and a big girl with practice and this just didnt move. After 30 seconds or so it decided enough was enough and absolutely tore off, completely unstoppable, straight into the flow. It took me 5 mins to recover this run, but it tore off again. The fight lasted a good 10 mins before i got it into a netting position, and thats when i realised i was struggling with my 42 inch landing net. I thought i had it, but the pike had other ideas and went for another run. Eventually i was able to get the pike upstream of my net, and the let it sail down into the waiting net. I lifted it out and knew she was a 20. The scales were wavering around 26lb, and the sling was wavering about 1lb. I could have called it 25lb, but i'll be honest and say 24lb 15oz, a river dream come true.

Sorry about the dodgy self takes...


Friday, 5 October 2012

A couple of recent piking sessions

I've started my piking season off now, beginning with a morning session on the river. Despite trying a couple of different stretches, and doing about a mile of walking looking for the pike, none were forthcoming, but it was a lovely morning to be out, and the river was in fine fettle....
The next week, the river had fined down after some heavy floods, and when i got there, the river, though back to normal autumn level, was coloured like chocolate. Not the best conditions, but I tried my best. After a few hours and a few different swims, a pike took my sardine hookbait. The float bobbed and disappeared (love it when that happens!) and i hit into resistance, but shortly after it went slack. I noticed the belly had been torn, so I imagined it wasnt a big fish. A quick change to a small smelt, and within seconds of dropping it in, the float disappeared again to yield a 6lb 2oz pike. Not big, but a bend in the rod with a determined attempt to get in a snag. Here's hoping for some double shortly...

A go at making my own pike floats

I've decided to make my own pike floats recently, i'm just a little tired of forking out £3 a float! This was my first attempt....

I started off by purchasing a length of 13mm balsa dowel, cost me £3 from Hobbycroft and was enough to make 5no.  7 inch floats.

Following this, I sanded off one end ready for the wire loop (being careful not to let the dog eat it). I could have used a swivel, but these are quite costly so I decided to spend £1.50 on 4m of 1mm brass wire. This was twisted around a thin screwdriver to make the eye.
A hole is then made into the dowel using a nail, and the eye is glued into place using araldyte.

The balsa is cut to make a float 7 inches long, and sanded off at the other end. I then applied a coat of normal household matt white, followed by some white gloss. The end is the painted either orange or black (both will be needed to suit conditions), and ta da!!
I'll be giving it a go this weekend...

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

I want one!!

Gear for the roving river angler is always a sore point. We want something lightweight, durable, versatile and comfortable. I've got by with a Korum accessory chair and ruckbag combination, which is a brilliant combination and allows you to have your hands free for rod and landing net - the chair is a cracking bit of kit. However, when your travelling for a mile, it's a heavy to say the least.

Anyway, i think i may have found what i'm looking for with this new product. Haven't got one yet, but you can be sure i'll be saving for one....

Monday, 27 August 2012

First barbel of the year...

I've been out a few times this season in the hunt for barbel, trying to get out when there's been some extra water in. This morning I woke up not knowing quite where to go, but with a bit of water in the river I knew I should give it a try.

Set up was my Wychwood Rogue Barbel 1.75lb (though yet to get a bend from a barbel on it!) and Korum KXi 50 reel, a suprisingly nice reel for the price. A glugged 14mm halibut was hair rigged to 10lb drennan sink link, with a 5oz running ledger and pva bag of 6mm pellets completing the set up. This was cast as close as I dared to the far bank where a few snags and overhanging bushes were present. The water was up but looked a bit like tea, which apparently is a bad sign (not talking from experience here!).

After an hour or so the rod plunged down and a fit-fighting barbel was hooked. I'd already lost 2 this year and wasn't planning on having the same happen again, so I put plenty of pressure on, and the rod showed it's tue colours (a lovely bit of kit!). After the initial few surges I played it under my feet for a minute or two before landing it, a lovely barbel of 6lb 1oz. Well happy!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

No bass, but still some plugging action...

I've been thinking about trying a local mark called Kettleness recently and, having not fished the place before, thought i'd pop down early morning for a bit of a recce. I went with a mate called Rob. The climb down is no problem really, you just need your hands free so make sure everything is on your back....a few pics:

We fished off the ledge at high water mainly, and there were a couple of cut off points. The first we were able to wade past at high water, the second has had a rope there, which is now broke, but we clambered past it. Was fine today with the sea flat calm.

Though we saw plenty of sandeel about, we plugged away for a couple of hours with no luck. Rob caught a mackerel on a max rap, so a dexter wedge soon had another mackerel on for me before they dissapeared as soon as they had come.

Both had sprats stuffed in their belly. Highlight of the day for me was Rob trying to avoid midgie bites by cross dressing as a grannie..

A couple of terns were diving out of casting reach, but other than that no signs that bass may be about. I'll definitely be trying more now i know how to get there and get down...

And the mackerel.....well one of them is my lunch, the other is being kept for a spot of piking!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Early morning bass trip

I've been preoccupied with rivers recently, specifically trying to catch barbel. Anyway, with the rivers devoid of colour, i got a text off a mate who said conditions seemed right for bass. I've only had one trip this year, earlier in may, so within an hour of that text i was in my loft digging out maria's, saltiga's and rapala's and opening books about bass. Suddenly the bass bug had bitten again..

So at 3am this morning my alarm went off, suddenly it was 4am and i'd got a text saying he'd just got there. Damn, i'd fallen asleep again! A 15 min drive and half an hour walk had me there, and i decided to start off on a soft plastic, which was duly snagged on the first cast. Maybe i should have stayed in bed! I knew from previous trips that this mark tended to produce on a big tide. I changed to the shallow divers and plugged away with various bits of plastic for an hour or so with no response. I noticed my battered old storm thunderstick, the one which got me 3 in one session previously and thought, why not. So on it went, and this one dived that bit deeper and created an instant response. Out of knowhere i was playing a bass, only a small schoolie, but a bass all the same. I've gone a whole year before now without catching one, so i was a happy chappy.

I left my mate still fishing, so i could go home and make kids breakfast, take dog out etc. Just got a text - he's caught 3! Should have stayed out....


Sunday, 29 July 2012

A Morning on the River

Decided to do some trotting this morning, mainly because i wasnt confident of catching much else at the moment, but also to get me drennan combo floatmaster out. Got there early and set up to trot maggot and caster. Size 18 to 3.2lb drennan float line and 1lb 10oz drennan team england hooklength. Roach sport from the off, nice fish as well...
Shallowing up brought some bonus dace as well, some of them decent sized. Hooked into something solid which was probably a chub or decent roach, but the hook sprung out.
(Dace on the left..)

Dropping some maggots close to my feet brought a few perch, mostly small

As the sun got up, i hooked into another roach which went solid and started hugging the bottom and plodding along, ignoring my pleas to get it to the surface. Clearly a pike had took it and it wasnt long till a bitten through hooklength was returned. I was expecting this at some point, and had the pike rod rigged up at the ready with a smelt deadbait. This was taken within 30 seconds of casting, and an athletic summer jack pike was eventually landed. All in all, an enjoyable morning. Time for a bacon sarnie and cup of tea.....


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Back on the rivers

Frustratingly, I've had very limited fishing time since the rivers open due to work. I've really only had one session, a short evening session last week. Barbel was the target, and the river was fining down nicely after some floods. I was using a new Wychwood Rogue Barbel rod, coupled with 12lb Daiwa sensor line. Deciding that it was too early in the season for pellet or boilies (they haven't had any for a while), I chose meat and worms for bait.

It was a smashing evening, but unfortunately I only managed the one knock. As the evening wore on, bats started hitting my line and keeping me interested, and I had a nice surprise from a rat that was intrigued with my luncheon meat. No fish was the end result; i'm told these barbel are difficult to catch, but rewarding when you get one!